2010 Gran Canaria Festival Calendar

There is always something going on in Gran Canaria and, if you are coming on holiday, you will want to know what events and festivals coincide with your stay.

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Some of the fiestas are a bit of a pain for us residents (especially when we forget about them and find the bank or post office is unexpectedly closed!) but they are a lot of fun too. The history behind each event is fascinating. The Canarians are never averse to letting their hair down with a sangria or beer and whether they are blowing up paper mache sardines, dancing around in carnival attire or reinacting maritime history, there is always an intriguing story behind these fiestas.

The following list is being added to all the time, so it is worth bookmarking this page to make sure you are up to date with the local fiestas, parties and events.

Festival Date in 2010 Public Holiday Notes
New Year’s Day 1st January Yes A day of rest to sleep off the previous night’s excesses
Epiphany 5th January Yes
Kings’ Day (Día de los Reyes) 6th January Yes When Canarians give and receive their Christmas presents
Las Palmas Carnival 2010 26th January No In Parque Catalina, Las Palmas
Carnival Queen Gala 5th February No
Carnival Drag Queen Gala 12th – 13th February No
Burial of the Sardine 20th February No A very Canarian fiesta, where a “sardine” is symbolically buried (or blown up!)
Festival of Almond Blossom February No Exact dates to be confirmed
Maspalomas Carnival 11th – 21st March No
St Joseph’s Day 19th March Yes Called San José in Spanish. Also this date is Father’s Day in the Canaries.
Holy Thursday 1st April Yes
Good Friday 2nd April Yes
Aborigines’ Day 29th April No Music, dancing and ceremonies commemorating the Guanches’ defeat of the Spanish
Cheese Festival Late April/Early May No In Santa Maria de Guía – exact dates to be confirmed
Labour Day 1st May Yes Spanish bank holiday
Canarias Day 31st May Yes Usually on  30th May (except when it’s a Sunday like here!)
Gay Pride 3rd May – 9th May No In Maspalomas
Fiesta del Carmen 18th July No Fiesta for sailors and mariners
Bringing Down the Branches 4th August No
Asunción de la Virgin 15th August Yes Feast of the Assumption
Water Fight in Lomo Magullo August No Exact date to be confirmed. Takes place in Telde.
Fiesta del Charco 7th – 11th September No
Nuestra Señora del Pino 8th September Yes Lady of the Pine (this festival is on a different day in each Canary island)
Fiesta of Our Lady of the Rosary 5th October No
Fiesta de la Naval 9th October No Festival of the sea. Always the 2nd Saturday in October
National Day 12th October Yes A bank holiday all over Spain
All Saints’ Day 1st November Yes
Day of the Spanish Constitution 6th December Yes A bank holiday all over Spain
Immaculate Conception 8th December Yes A Catholic holiday
Saint Lucia Day 13th December Yes A Catholic holiday
Christmas Day 25th December Yes A day of rest to sleep off the excesses of December 24th (when the Canarians eat their Christmas dinner)

There are two types of fiestas in the Canaries – gazetted holidays (the official public holidays decided by the Government of Spain) and local festivals which depend on the Catholic calendar.

Photo by Pano Philou

Photo by Pano Philou

The Canarians like to celebrate at the weekends when possible and Canarian fiestas can go on until the early hours. Some Canarian fiestas are arranged at the last minute and you won’t find them on any list of events in the Canaries… sometimes these spur-of-the-moment type parties and celebrations are the most fun out of all of them. 🙂

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See also Festivals 2008 and Festivals 2011.

2 Comments

  1. Tony

    Whatho Victoria,

    You have a really splendid website, one of the best – it must take up a lot of your time; but it’s great.
    I have been coming to Las Palmas on holiday for a few years now and it is exactly as you describe it. I’ve never visited over Ash Wednesday so I’ve never seen the Carnival Procession and the Burial of the Sardine. Can you please let me know the actual dates next year please – am I right in thinking that the Procession is the Saturday before Ash Wednesday [5th March 2011] and the Sardine Burial, the Saturday after ?
    See you on Playa Las Canteras ??

  2. Victoria

    Sorry for the late reply, Tony. The carnival in Las Palmas is scheduled from February 15 until March 12. If you have Google Chrome you can do an auto-translate of this page: http://www.lpacarnaval.com/v2/?p=3458#more-3458 which is the official carnaval website. Also, there are more dates on here: https://www.cunningcanary.com/2011-gran-canaria-festival-calendar/ if you want to know what else is going on next year.

    Maspalomas carnaval is at the end of March and that’s the one you’ll usually find me at 🙂

    Have fun!

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